Across Maui hiking opportunities abound, whether you select a self-guided option or choose tours with the many companies that offer group and customized hikes.
Pick the climate and terrain you prefer. You can trek across Maui's most recent lava flow along the coast at La Pérouse; or climb Haleakala and descend for a hike into the crater's backcountry. Walk into a rainforest echoing with the songs of birds found nowhere else on the planet. There are trails to waterfalls with plunge pools for swimming, and walks into valleys so deep they never see a sunrise or a sunset.
At Ke‘anae Arboretum, on the way to Hana, a loop trail leads from taro fields into pure jungle.
The Lahaina Pali Trail affords a rugged but scenic hike along sea cliffs, with spectacular views of Maui and her sister islands. The trail follows a road that historians believe was part of the Alaloa, the "long road" that Pi‘ilani, a 15th century chief, and his son Kiha'a Pi'ilani directed to be built to encircle the island.
The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources provides free hiking info through their Na Ala Hele Trail & Access System at www.hawaiitrails.org. Park rangers at Haleakala National Park, both at the summit and the Kaupo shoreline section, offer nature walks and guided hikes.
A selection of hiking maps and guide books is available, and you can also sign on with an excursion company for a guided hike, complete with lunch.
One company that I can personally recommend for guided hikes is Hike Maui. They offer a number of different hikes of varying difficulty. You can read about a hike I did with them in 2008 in the Lower Makamaka'ole Valley.
There are also a number of excellent books that cover the various hikes that you can take on Maui. I recommend the following:
Day Hikes on Maui
Day Hikes on Maui is a guide to 55 great hikes around this island's coastline and atop its breathtaking mountains. Explore world-class beaches, dormant volcanoes, waterfalls, lava flows, cascading swimming holes, steep canyons and the jagged coastline. Easy to moderately strenuous hikes accommodate all levels of experience. Ample maps and clear directions ensure a memorable hike.
Maui Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Paddle, Surf, Drive
Discover the best spots for hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, and biking, plus tranquil places for birdwatching, relaxing, and swimming. You'll find activities for families, day excursions to Lanai, Molokai, and Molokini islands, historical legends and archaeological sites. The book includes 137 hikes and strolls: tropical rain forests and remote valleys, coastal bluffs and lava tubes, Haleakala crater and the Hana Highway, cascading waterfalls, pools, beaches.
This guidebook contains walks that will satisfy everyone, ranging from easy strolls to strenuous, multi-day hikes. Maui Trails covers the entire island, describing 54 walking tours and trips in all the hiking areas. For each trip, author Kathy Morey describes the trail, and provides information on distance, difficulty, driving instructions, and average hiking time.
Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii: Maui
Best Easy Day Hikes Hawaii; Maui includes concise descriptions of the best easy day hikes on the island, with detailed maps of each route. The 20 hikes in this guide are generally short, easy to follow, and guaranteed to please.